Sunday, January 16, 2011

guest post by sonja!

dear emily,

i am so delighted to introduce you to one of my favorite blog
friends, sonja at bits and pieces.  her engaging humor and
deep love for the Lord have been an inspiration for only a
few months, but i feel like i've known her my whole life.
soak it up!!!

I love Lea!
Being a guest on her post is both fun and humbling... especially humbling, as the subject is 'raising our children'... I told Lea it would easier to write a book than to write a blog!
My mom always used to say 'we have 3 children and they keep us happy, humble and poor!'... I am far enough down the road of life that I know all 3 of those things have been true for us as well, with our 3.
Here are a few points I would highlight...
1. Begin when they are small... a teenager who has not been taught from birth and up, is NOT going to listen and obey as you think they should when they hit those years.
2. Be honest with your children... when you have been wrong, tell them, and ask for their forgiveness. They learn from what we do much more than what we say. Just like God's love forgives us, we are to forgive them. 'It's His kindness that leads us to repentance.'
3. Keep the communication going... even when they are at the age when mom & dad are 'uncool'... let them know they can talk about anything and that they have an honest, and safe place to vent. I remember when ours were growing up and we were in a tough financial place, my husband called one of our 'family meetings' and shared his concerns with them. We felt we might need to relocate, and our kids needed to know and share in those concerns, as it also affected their lives. We opened it up to their thoughts and they blew off steam and told us what they were feeling. It was a hard session, but the talking and sharing helped us all.
4.  Have fun with your kids!... most of you probably already know the value of that. Humor is one of the most valuable gifts we have been given. I can't tell you how many times one or another of us were upset, angry, down in the dumps or flat out depressed, and somehow our sense of humor came through and we ended up laughing till our sides hurt. It is so healing.
I share this story with embarrasment and hesitation, when I tell you that I tried to give our 18 year old daughter a spanking when she was a freshman in college! I know, I know...  She had said some REALLY disrepectful things and was in my face when she said them. Before I had time to think it through, I instinctively tried to put her over my knee and give her a good wallop! Of course it didn't happen... She went out the door in a huff and I called my busy husband at work and bawled... told him 'I have really blown it... Carole may have run away from home', and told him what I had done. He calmed me down, and I sat in the rocking chair and cried and prayed until she came through the door after class. I heard her cheerful little voice that she used when she was being funny, she said 'I don't know about you, but I feel pretty silly!'... We laughed and hugged and to this day, it's one of those stories we still laugh about, and all 3 of HER girls LOVE to hear me tell it!!
5. Hold your ground when you know you are right, and stay united with your husband... kids can almost 'look like the enemy' at times, and they can SENSE when we begin to falter or show signs of retreat... they come on strong and jump right into that vulnerable place they detect in us, IF we allow it. I was the one who 'caved' sometimes, not my hubby, and our kids appealed to me on lots of things that they wouldn't dare try with their dad! I learned that one the hard way.
6. Final thought... keep Jesus in everything! Make it a priority to read God's Word with your kids and to pray, about everything. When we do that in our homes, it becomes the most natural thing for them to do the same in their own lives. There are going to be hurts and heartaches along the way, and they need to know that Jesus is their friend and will always be there. Teach them by making Him the priority in your home. Our children watch we do... much more than they listen to what we say!!
One more 'final thought'... in everything that comes our way as parents, NONE of it is wasted in OUR lives. As God is shaping our children through our instruction... He is also shaping US, many times in ways we didn't even know we needed.
Our 3 are grown and now they are raising our 6 grandkids... I know they have learned from our mistakes, and I also trust they have learned from our love for them, which never changes.
Love them, pray for them, love them and keep praying!...


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I have heard that we will know how well we have parented when we see our children parenting their own...I am not there, but Sonja is, therefore her words come with authority!
I love her and these reminders are so good for me, since I still have two of our six at home!
Thanks Lea for having Sonja address this important journey of Godly parenting!! I applaud her wisdom.

Oh are more than welcome to boss me....ha, ha...I need a big sister every so often, since I am the oldest of four. I will glean from those two years you have on me!!

Sandy said...

I so enjoyed these wonderful
words of wisdom from sweet
Sonja. I love her and you know
I love you, Lea, my prayer
warrior friend.
All very good advice here that
I know to be so true.
Thanks again.

Farm Girl said...

I love Sonja and you couldn't get a more wonderful, and gifted lady to do a guest post for you. I think there is so much good advice not only for mother's with small children but those of us whose children are almost out of the nest.
Thank you so much dear Lea for giving us such a gift of wisdom.

Cheri Bunch said...

Wonderful advice! Oh, the precious seasons! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! Blessings, Cheri

Emily said...

Thanks for your sweet words of wisdom, Sonja!

Vivek Chamoli said...

Hi Lea ,

Thanks a lot of Introducing a great inspiration blog writer to us.
I'm glad to connect with you both and learn a lot from you in this short span :)

I love this tips Sonja shared over here.

Very nice.

Wish you are having a great time :)

take care.
Keep smiling ..always. :)
With Love


Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Such wisdom. Thanks for sharing. As a person who works with teenagers who've gone off the rail, I can say that your advice is so true.
The first principle is to start when they're young. I couldn't stress that enough.

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a great idea to have a guest post ... you ladies are clearly on the same wavelength.

Debbie said...

This was a WONDERFUL post from such a wise and godly woman!! I just couldn't agree more with everything she said. A BIG AMEN to it all! Begin young, love MUCH, talk and laugh OFTEN, and trust God. Sounds easy....but is NOT...Loved this! BLESSINGS!!

Darcie said...

I agree WHOLE HEARTILY...nothing is wasted. I have noticed that SO much lately that when I am trying to guide my kids, God has shown ME where I too need to change. I just want to value more that process. Thank you for a very enlightening post.

Southern Lady said...

Oh Lea, your advice is right on the mark. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say. Being in the middle of those teenage years can get very trying sometimes. It is nice to hear from someone like you who has been there and survived! Carla

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

This was as wonderful to read as it is a lesson in truth. I love the 'spanking attempt' story. We all have things like that in our past parenting experiences.

Jenn said...

Great points! All are definitely wonderful tips on raising Godly children, thanks for sharing.

Sandra said...

Such wise, wise words; you are blessed in your friendship with each other!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Wonderful wise words from Sonja! I also add that having a family dinner every night where we all sat together and discussed our day was one of the wonderful ways we kept communication going all through childhood, teenage years and young adulthood. Both my children tell me how grateful they are that we shared that every day.

PS: I love Colorado, Lea! It's a wonderful state and I've blogged about it frequently as I often visit my son and his family there.

Gloria said...

Beautiful words of wisdom! Loved this post! :)

xoxo Gloria

Bree said...

as always, I am blessed and encouraged by your words and those sharing on your blog :) (I've read back through posts-haven't been on the computer as much) thank you for your sweet words and prayers. homeschooling is such a blessing and we are seeing the Lord work mighty in our lives (heart issues, school, finances...) He is so good Always! praying all is well with you and your sweet ones.
praying for you dear friend,